That one is going to sting, no two ways about it. Iowa was in position to win on the road, despite having played what might have been the most horrific half of offensive basketball this side of Northern Illinois, and they let it slip away. We could focus on all the little things that didn't go right at the end of the game -- the offensive rebound Iowa gave up that allowed Purdue to cut the lead to one, Devyn Marble's missed free throw with 47 seconds left that kept it a two-point game, his missed shot as time expired -- but that would mean ignoring the portion of the game where everything really went wrong for the Hawks: the first half.
Sixteen points. That's the number of points Iowa had in the first twenty minutes. About half a point a possession, or, to put it another, more depressing way, one basket every four trips down the court. It was painful to watch. Iowa went without scoring for five minutes ... three times. In part, it was the result of the usual harassing Purdue defense, but mostly, it was due to the fact that Iowa couldn't do two things: beat anyone off the dribble or make open shots.
- One thing that was really frustrating was Iowa's failure at the end of both halves to take advantage of two-for-one opportunities. In both cases, Iowa could have taken a shot quickly, before the clock went below 40 seconds, thus guaranteeing themselves an extra possession to end the half. Instead, they let the clock wind down to 30 before really looking at the basket in earnest, giving Purdue the gift of the final possession and denying themselves an extra possession.
- Adam Woodbury had a rough start to the game, muffing an easy pass inside that would have led to a layup and losing A.J. Hammons on a pick and roll. He recovered later in the game and had some crucial rebounds and deft passes, but right now his biggest problem seems to be that his hands aren't strong enough. If he could just catch the ball cleanly, half the battle would be won, but too often he juggles the ball or loses it altogether.